North Texas Daily

UNT vs. Texas Tech: First Half

UNT vs. Texas Tech: First Half

November 16
19:48 2010

Hello everyone! We got about 12 minutes until tipoff and the Super Pit is hopping. There are enough UNT students here to make you think this was a clarinet concert. All complaints about the student body’s absurd attitude toward UNT sports aside, this will be a tough venue to play in. Just ask the 2007 OK State and 2003 Baylor basketball teams.

Thoughts before the game:

UNT will live and die with Josh White tonight. The senior guard always steps up for the biggest game, scoring 28 on No.4 Texas as a freshman. White has started off the year cold but I expect him to score at least 25 tonight.

Don’t underestimate Tech. They’re not a NCAA Tournament team, but they’re returning six of its top seven scorers last year. This would be an impressive victory.

Cutting back on the turnovers is a must for UNT, as it committed 16 and 13 in their first two games. Great teams don’t make those kind of mistakes in big games.

I feel genuinely sorry for anyone who hasn’t tried a Jimmy John’s chocolate chip cookie. Eating my first may be the highlight of the night if things go south for UNT…

And now the hanging of the banner celebrating last year’s conference championship awaits us…memories of Eric Tramiel and an impressive run to the NCAA Tournament are dancing in my head. The average fan doesn’t appreciate how “together” that team really was. Countless close victories and clutch play were a product of the team’s strong chemistry.

If this team can build upon the success it had last season without Tramiel it will be a special 2010-2011 campaign.

4:30 before game: Athletic Director Rick Villareal walks over to the student section to fire them up and they erupt with a wave of cheers. Rick wants this as bad as anyone because he knows how much this win helps the program.

1:12 before game: Just got word that Tech’s all time leading scorer and former NBA player Andre Emmett is in the house! A big name ready to watch a big game.

Just about game time, a music fraternity from UNT does an outstanding job singing the national anthem and UNT honors former bball coach Bill Blakeley, who passed away this month.

Mean Green players carry out the banners to be hung. There’s one for winning the Sun Belt, taking the Sun Belt Tournament and advancing to the NCAA Tournament. Students respond by chanting “We want a repeat!” While I’m surprised that most of the students actually know we did all of those things, I couldn’t agree with them more!

Student section goes nuts as the Mean Green lineup is introduced. It’s the normal group with George, Josh, Shannon, Tristan and Kedrick until they all get subbed out at the same time in the first few minutes.

1st Half 19:00: Odufuwa gets things going with the first score of the game but Mike Singletary is there for the answer. He’s Tech’s best player.

H1 18:00: Kedrick Hogans with a signature block and a layup by White helps give UNT a 4-2 edge.

H1 17:00: White makes another layup but two quick Tech baskets ties things up at 6. A steal on Shannon Shorter led to one of the buckets, turnovers may be critical in this game.

H1 16:10: UNT plays extremely tight defense and forces a jump ball, which goes in the Red Raider’s favor. This crowd refuses to go away!

H1 15:35: Tech makes a big three pointer to give them a one point lead and UNT looks lost on offense, throwing the ball away.  First media timeout and we can already tell that this will be a high energy game.

UNT sticking with the starting five for now, in this type of game it just makes sense.

H1 14:27: George draws a charge, UNT falters on offense but reclaims the lead when White lays in a transition basket! More momentum coming from a second charge drawn. 10-9 UNT.

13:15: Dominique Johnson now in the game, Tech just retook the lead with a transition basket of their own. 11-10 Tech

13:07: White is fouled and makes the shot but it was on the floor. He obviously is playing energized, with six points in the game’s first seven minutes. Odufuwa adds a bucket to once again claim the lead, 12-11 UNT.

12:38: Alonzo Edwards comes in for Kedrick and Tech throws ball away-UNT has possession, lead and an overexcited writer pulling for them.

11:48: Dominique makes a jumper and Tech answers with a bucket in the pait. 14-13 UNT and we’re almost halfway through the half. Media Timeout.

10:57 Tech can’t get it done on offense, but an absolute swat on DJ’s jumper isn’t helping UNT. 14-13 UNT.

9:37: Roberson burns UNT with his second three, but Johnson is there for another three. Guess 6-7 on Wednesday from three-point range wans’t enough! Tech answers with an emphatic dunk, 18-17 Tech.

8:52: Kedrick executes a three-point play the old fashioned way! Free throw is good, 20-18 UNT.

8:00: Jacob Holman is in on the action and the fans love it! Hogans saved the ball and it goes right to Holman, who laid it in to give the Mean Green a 22-20 lead. Tech will shoot free throws after the media timeout.

If UNT wins tonight, it will continue a developing trend of beating Big 12 competitiors at home. Under Johnny Jones, the Mean Green have already defeated Oklahoma State and Baylor. This team looks pretty set on making it three for three against the Big 12 in the Super Pit!

7:25: Holman gets a sweet feed from White at about half court to make his second layup. Mean Green by four!

6:35: Tech answers with five straight, but the sophomore Holman won’t be denied. he scores his sixth and seventh points to give UNT a 26-25 lead.

5:20: Holman loses possession of the ball and a jump ball gives it to Tech. The Red Raiders take advantage by making a three and taking a two point lead.

3:36: White makes me look smart by sinking a big three, but Tech answers with two baskets and owns a 34-31 lead near the end of the half. The Mean Green must work on stopping the ball sooner if it wants to win tonight.

Tristan is shooting free throws for an intentional foul on Tech, but misses both of them. Very unlike Tristan, who is one of the best shooters on a team that led the nation in free throws made last year.

3:00: White is called for a foul. UNT should hope to get to 40 by half, as it is 75-16 under Jones when scoring 80 points.

2:04: Tech is killing UNT on the offensive boards, but UNT gets two of their own on the other side of the floor. Johnson is fouled and makes both free throws. Red Raiders now in penalty, 36-33 Tech.

1:28: White makes another layup and now has 12,Tech will indbound under their basket. First a timeout for UNT as they trail by one.

45: Tech took a three-point lead with an emphatic dunk, but George answers with a backdoor layup.

31.9: Another timeout called by Johnny. 40-37 Tech and UNT will have the ball. My money is on this play going to Josh, UNT must stay with the hot hand.

Halftime: In this case, I love to say I told you so. White sinks a floater in the paint as time runs out and the Mean Green trail 40-39 at half. This back and forth game will only get more tight in the second half, I can assure you there is no quit in this UNT team. They looked to be losing its composure down 36-31 but battled back to keep it close.

H

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